Photo of Jo Dale Carothers

Jo Dale Carothers is a shareholder and chair of Weintraub Tobin’s Intellectual Property group. She is an intellectual property litigator and registered patent attorney, who advises clients on a wide range of issues related to patents, trade secrets, trademarks, and copyrights. Her practice emphasizes intellectual property litigation, licensing, prosecution, contract disputes, and issues related to proceedings before the USPTO.

The recent opportunities for remote work and learning have provided improvements in lifestyle for a number of employees and students. Many of those able to work or study from home have benefited from more flexible schedules, reduction in time and money spent on commuting, reduction in work- and school-related stress, and more family time. But those benefits have come with some new challenges. For example, professors and teachers have confronted the challenge of how to prevent students from cheating on exams. When standard approaches failed, a business professor recently turned to copyright law, hoping for a solution.
Continue Reading Can Copyright Law Prevent Cheating on Exams?

When entering into contracts, parties commonly include forum selection clauses to govern future litigation between the parties. When doing so, parties need to actively consider whether they intend that forum selection clause to prohibit filing petitions, such as petitions for inter partes review of patents, with the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has generally recognized that parties can bargain away these rights, including through forum selection clauses in contracts. This issue recently arose in Nippon Shinyaku v. Sarepta.
Continue Reading Be Careful Not to Unintentionally Bargain Away the Right to File IPRs

Since the Alice v. CLS Bank and Mayo v. Prometheus decisions, district courts and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has struggled to determine and navigate the boundary between what is and what is not patent-eligible subject matter. The result has been a tangle of intertwined decisions that create an extremely wide and fuzzy boundary. Attorneys are often left to throw up their hands when asked whether a new invention is patentable or whether an existing patent will likely withstand a patent eligibility challenge under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Some would argue that Federal Circuit decisions are currently dependent on which panel of judges hear the case because the present law is so ambiguous and subject to different interpretations. Therefore, the legal community, inventors, investors, corporations, and the public would greatly benefit from the U.S. Supreme Court’s guidance on this issue.
Continue Reading Will the Supreme Court Unravel the Patent-Eligibility Tangle?

Willful patent infringement can result in enhanced, and in some case treble, damages but not in every instance. Because the standard for finding willful infringement has traditionally been lower than that for enhancing damages, a finding of willful infringement does not guarantee an award of enhanced damages.  However, a 2019 Federal Circuit opinion caused confusion, suggesting the standards were essentially the same.  SRI Int’l, Inc.  v. Cisco Sys., Inc. (“SRI II”) 930 F.3d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 2019).  In SRI Int’l, Inc.  v. Cisco Sys., Inc. (“SRI III”) (Fed. Cir. 2021), the Federal Circuit acknowledged the confusion and clarified these standards.
Continue Reading Federal Circuit Clarifies Standards for Willful Patent Infringement and Enhanced Damages